What’s the perfect combo that keeps young and young-at-heart entertained? For us, it’s new experiences to share, room to run-off some energy and the little moments that find their way into your heart and your photo roll. Werribee’s got it all going on – family fun aplenty for young and old.
Our family folklore includes more than a few pages devoted to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. That time we rode the safari bus and sighted a small herd of giraffes galloping across the savannah then got close enough to hear them crunching on treetop leaves. Then there was that African themed night lit by burning torches and filled with jungle drumming, dancing and a genuine animal soundtrack. Hours spent watching the meerkats, digging for “dinosaur bones”, hanging on every word at a Meet the Keeper session. A special visit to welcome the new lion cubs. A bucket of hot chips shared on a bench by the gorilla enclosure. The zoo just never gets old. And you never get too old for the zoo.
What about a playground that’s bigger than the MCG? Harpley Estate Playground is Werribee’s giant new play and learn space. The Herald Sun suggests it could be Melbourne’s best playground. Undoubtedly, it’s hour-upon-hour of family fun for all ages and all abilities. As well as the usual playground favourites, there’s nature play, flying foxes, log tunnels, rope bridges, sandpits, hidden surprises, information boards and a whole lotta room to run.
Or, if expansive green lawns and period architecture are your thing, you’ll find the magnificent 10-hectare grounds of Werribee Park a family-pleasing locale. Let the kids loop round and round the parterre garden, play chasey in and out the age-old tree specimens or shady verandah arches, count the blooms in the Victoria State Rose Garden or venture out the rocky bridge to the spooky grotto. So much to explore. Flop on a rug on the manicured lawn for picnic snacks and chatter before going in search of big-sized artworks along the sculpture walk.
Come mid-November and find Werribee Park alive with The Lost Lands Festival, a two-day celebration of music, art and theatre for tiny tots, older folk and all the in-betweeners. It’s the quintessential family experience, created to bring together young and old to share the spirit of festival-going – food trucks, tasty treats, wine, craft brews and live entertainment including an outdoor cinema and the Kids Big Top. All programmed by a guru of festival imagination: Simon Daly, founder of Falls Festival.